COLUMBUS, Ohio (KRON) — An air conditioner thief will spend two and a half years in federal prison, not for the thefts but for releasing freon into the atmosphere.
35-year old Martin C. Eldridge III was part of a ring that stole 49 air conditioners by disconnecting them from buildings around the area. When he did that, authorities say he released freon into the atmosphere violating the Federal Clean Air Act.
It turns out that’s a much more serious crime than just stealing air conditioners. A federal judge sentenced him to 31-months in prison and 200 hours of community service. Eldridge is also due to be sentenced in August in state court.
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